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Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member, Grace Marino! If you want to be a part of this global community with endless resources and daily encouragement – start your free trial today!

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Masks, long store lines, sitting at home waiting because the network is slow. In these crazy, frustrating times, there is one who holds our worship! We might feel as though things haven’t worked out. Finances are crashing, and we can’t go out as much. I know for me, personally this time is harder because I don’t get to see my church family of God in person and such. But there is so much good!

The Biblical character Joseph knew what hard times were like. He had been sold to the Egyptians, enslaved, and lied about by his brothers. They were angry because of his dreams. Dreams where their sheaves of grain bowed down to him. So they decided to get rid of him by selling him off to a caravan of Traders, and lie to his father about his death. Joseph’s trials didn’t stop there. While serving the Egyptians, he even got thrown into prison for the wrong reasons! Finally, the tables turned in his favor giving Him an opportunity. With God’s help He was able to interpret Pharaohs dream, telling him of the famine that would come. Because of this, Pharaoh made him a ruler in Egypt who provided grain for the people.

During the time of famine, many people gathered to get grain. His family were among these that did so. Imagine meeting someone who you had dealt with unfairly years later. Once Joseph got into contact with his brothers, they were fearful and felt the pang of guilt in their hearts. Perhaps we feel like Joseph’s brothers. We may have our stock-pile of groceries, toliet paper, or orders from Insta cart or Prime, but we feel insecure. Or maybe you’ve gone stir-crazy, stuck inside, missing friends and social gatherings. Maybe things haunt you from your past. This time has proven to be so for me.

There are many emotions that I’ve had to work through. Things that need to be given to God. Joseph’s brothers felt much like that. But as Joseph declared over his brothers “you meant it for evil against me; but God meant it for good,” Genesis 50:20 (NKJV) so too we can find the good in our lives. In times like these, how can we focus on what’s good? Revival. God is bringing a revival because of this quarantine. God tells us that if His people humble themselves, seek Him, He will restore their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Now is the time where God can move and bring about a work that wouldn’t happen normally, in this unlikely way.  Although we’re practicing social distancing, we aren’t social distancing from God. He’s been here all along, and His cable connection has the greatest speed! When Solomon brought the ark into the temple he gave an inspirational speech to the congregants at that time. He was praising God. Solomon said “The land might become very dry and no food will grow on it. Or maybe great sickness will spread among the people.” He goes on.. ‘Or your people might be attacked in some of their cities by their enemies. Or many of your people might get sick.”-1Kings 8:37 (ERV)  “Whatever disaster or disease there is-If your people Israel pray about their troubles, raising their hands toward this Temple, then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive.” 1 Kings 8:37b-39 (NLT)

God is able to forgive us.  He sent His son not just to die for our sins, but to take the weight of them. He loves us so much that He would desire to save us, even if there was just one. Even if we’ve walked away from Him, He is pursuing our hearts. He wants fellowship with us. He wants a relationship with you! You are never too far gone to take a step toward Jesus. To give your life to Him! Nothing is too hard for Him!

God is allowing this time for us to to be awakened, raising our hands up to the Lord. We are the temple of God. God lives inside us! Even as Solomon had the privilege of lifting His hands to the temple in Jerusalem, we have an even greater privilege to pray to Him from the temple of our hearts, where Jesus sits on the throne.

This time isn’t just for revival, but renewal for our souls. Jesus wants us to spend time with Him just as Mary spent time worshipping at His feet. (Luke 10:39) Renew means to change for the better. Mary had the choice to be busy or to sit listening at His feet. It’s interesting to note that while civic centers, sports, and theaters have shut down, God’s presence hasn’t. Maybe we’ve lost all these things in quarantine in order to find that one thing worthy of affection, Jesus. To listen to His heart, be willing to change and made new. Maybe we’ve gained this time to renew our souls. God knew we could be busy running around, doing other things. But He knew it wasn’t the best for our souls, so He allowed this to happen. We’re not taking the time to go to the theater, go to that game. God is calling us to come and sit at His feet. To come to His throne in the quiet of our own home, our hearts, to listen and be renewed. To let Him change us.

It’s an opportunity for us to respond. Worship. That our shift, focus and attitude would be to the one who is deserving of our praise. During hard times, it’s often easy for me to focus on the negative aspects and complain. When the feelings rush in, I’ve had to go up to my room and sit with my guitar. But it’s up to us to change our attitude and respond. What is super cool to see is how many people are focusing on the positive. Whether that’s through zoom conferencing, live teachings, or music videos, many individuals have come up with unique and creative ways to share hope. I like how LO sister is reaching out to others, sharing creative ideas, and bringing in God’s Word. LO sister is taking this time to sit with Jesus. Every week when we have LO Words and Worship, God speaks to me powerfully as I respond in worship. Fuel that energy into something good! Create art. Journal. Whatever your expression is of praise. When we respond in gratitude to the Lord, it’s a good thing. It’s isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely better than sitting in despondency or the lethargy of our moapy feelings.

Jesus is seeking after those who will worship Him in Spirit and truth. (John 4:23) He promises to draw near to us if we will draw close to Him. (James 4:8)

So let’s be like Joseph who saw the good amidst the mixed feelings, Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet, and let’s stir our feelings to passionate revival, renewal, and response.

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Grace Marino

Author Grace Marino

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